A sense of security, of well-being, of summer warmth pervades my memory. That robust reality makes a ghost of the present. The mirror brims with brightness; a bumblebee has entered the room and bumps against the ceiling. Everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change, nobody will ever die.
I hight don Quixote, I live on peyote, marijuana, morphine and cocaine. I never know sadness, but only a madness that burns at the heart and the brain. I see each charwoman, ecstatic, inhuman, angelic, demonic, divine. Each wagon a dragon, each beer mug a flagon that brims with ambrosial wine.
The novella is at once the most elegant and demanding form: a writer must balance the looseness of a novel with the concision of a short story, a feat that only the bravest and most talented of us can manage. In Brazil, Jesse Lee Kercheval proves, yet again, that she is exactly the right writer for the job. A wild American picaresque, Brazil snaps along briskly, yet feels full-fleshed, and brims with a sly wit and grace.
What was dark will always be dark, I know that. Death is still death. Hatred will never be far, in this life. But also, there is light. It is everywhere. It floods this world-the world brims with it. Once, I sat by the Coe and watched a shaft of light come down through the trees, through leaves, and wondered if there was a greater beauty, or a simpler one. There are many great beauties. but all of them-from the snow, to his fern-red hair, to my mare's eye reflecting the sky as she smelt the air of Rannoch Moor-have light in them, and are worth it. They are worth the darker parts.
For a long time, she sat and saw. She had seen her brother die with one eye open, on still in a dream. She had said goodbye to her mother and imagined her lonely wait for a train back home to oblivion. A woman of wire had laid herself down, her scream traveling the street, till it fell sideways like a rolling coin starved of momentum. A young man was hung by a rope made of Stalingrad snow. She had watched a bomber pilot die in a metal case. She had seen a Jewish man who had twice given her the most beautiful pages of her life marched to a concentration camp. And at the center of all of it, she saw the Fuhrer shouting his words and passing them around. Those images were the world, and it stewed in her as she sat with the lovely books and their manicured titles. It brewed in her as she eyed the pages full to the brims of their bellies with paragraphs and words.
IV REVEILLE Wake: the silver dusk returning Up the beach of darkness brims, And the ship of sunrise burning Strands upon the eastern rims. Wake: the vaulted shadow shaatters, Trampled to the floor it spanned, And the tent of night in tatters Straws the sky-pavilioned land. Up, lad, up, 'tis late for lying: Hear the drums of morning play; Hark, the empty highways crying "Who'll beyond the hills away?" Towns and countries woo together, Forelands beacon, belfries call; Never lad that trod on leather Lived to feast his heart with all. Up, lad: thews that lie and cumber Sunlit pallets never thrive; Morns abed and daylight slumber Were not meant for man alive. Clay lies still, but blood's a rover; Breath's a ware that will not keep Up, lad: when the journey's over There'll be time enough to sleep.
There is no magic to immortality. In Egypt, I loved the perfume of the lotus. A flower would bloom in the pool at dawn, filling the entire garden with a blue musk so powerful it seemed that even the fish and ducks would swoon. By night, the flower might wither but the perfume lasted. Fainter and fainter, but never quite gone. Even many days later, the lotus remained in the garden. Months would pass and a bee would alight near the spot where the lotus had blossomed, and its essence was released again, momentary but undeniable. Egypt loved the lotus becuase it never dies. It is the same for people who are loved. Thus can something as insignificant as a name-two syllables, one high, one sweet- summon up the innumerable smiles, tears, sighs and dreams of a human life. If you sit on the bank of a river, you see only a small part of its surface. And yet, the water before your eyes is proof of unknowable depths. My heart brims with thanks for the kindness you have shown me by sitting on the bank of this river, by visiting the echoes of my name. Blessings on your eyes and on your children. Blessings on the ground beneath you. Wherever you walk, I go with you. Selah.